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A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research – a non-partisan research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts – found that adolescents are not more likely to use marijuana in states where medical marijuana is legal.
The Journal of Adolescent Health’s study on adolescents and marijuana use came to a similar conclusion: “This study did not find increases in adolescent marijuana use related to [the] legalization of medical marijuana.”
In another study, investigators from the University of Colorado at Denver, Montana State University, and the University of Oregon analyzed federal data on adolescent marijuana use and treatment episodes during the years of 1993 to 2011, when 16 states authorized medical marijuana use, and the investigators concluded that “Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students.”
Findings such as these help to confirm that the legalization of marijuana for medical use does not mean that adolescents are more likely to use marijuana, a common concern among lawmakers.